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Parents, leaders advocate for new Towson High building

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At Towson High School, the heat and air conditioning must run at the same time to prevent mold. The water coming out of the taps is brown. With any substantial rainfall, the main level floods — with waters rising above the electrical panels.

On top of that, the high school is overcrowded now, and the numbers are predicted to get significantly worse in the coming years.

To address these issues, parents and local leaders have formed a steering committee to advocate for a new school building. The group, called New in ’22, is hoping to have a new high school by 2022.

“We support what the county is doing now by adding air conditioning and doing renovations” to other schools, said Jennifer Bolster, a parent whose two children graduated from Towson High, and head of the steering committee. “We’re saying, when you’re done there, Towson is next.”

Towson High was built in 1949, an addition was put on in 1965, and it was partially renovated in 1996 — although many say the renovation was not as successful as had been expected.

The county is already planning to renovate Dulaney High, Lansdowne High, Woodlawn High, and Patapsco High. The Towson group notes that renovations at Dulaney — which is several decades newer than Towson High — are running about $40 million. They say it makes more sense to start with a new building in Towson — estimated to be about $100 million — especially because it would be difficult to put another addition on the building.

Towson High is expected to be at 137 percent capacity in five years.

towson high stats

Source: New in ’22

Baltimore County Public Schools will start planning its FY2019 budget this October, and approval of the budget will happen in 2018. The New in ’22 group wants to make sure they are on the radar of BCPS, the county, and the state as those plans move forward.

Councilman David Marks, who has been working with the steering committee, said it’s “a very ambitious goal, and right now we want to simply advance planning money as quickly as possible.”

On Sept. 26 at 7 PM, the group will hold a town hall meeting at the Towson library to discuss goals and strategies. (They hope to be done in time for everyone to watch the first Clinton-Trump debate, which airs at 9:00 that evening.)

“We don’t want to be divisive and sound angry, but we do want to have a lot of voices,” said Steve Prumo, a financial advisor, Towson High alum, and father of four kids — all of whom will attend Towson High.

Bolster, who owns a physical therapy practice, also said the group wants to take a cooperative approach with its advocacy, and added that it’s not just parents who should be concerned.

“If you care about the community, then you care about schools,” she said. “If the schools start to go downhill, then the community goes downhill.”

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8 Comments on "Parents, leaders advocate for new Towson High building"

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Darlene

Towson can regulate how many students they take in after the student population in the school zone area. Towson takes in others because it is a magnet school. Perhaps they should limit those extra students rather than be so overcrowded. Doesn’t make sense to me that they should be that much above capacity.

Dennis

Darlene- I am a parent of a student in the Magnet program at THS. Some facts: 1) the Magnet program only takes 60 students per year; and 2) roughly 20-25% of those 60 students are zoned for THS anyway.

Diane Coy

I graduated from THS in 1973 and was teaching there during the 1996 renovation. At that time, the entire Towson community was absolutely dead set against a new school and wanted the renovation because of the history of the school. Interesting now that it seems the history no longer matters.

JBS

Didn’t the folks from Greenwood assure the parents and staff of Rodgers Forge Elementary School several years ago that there would be no overcrowding issues when the kids in the population bubble we were feeling in the elementary school got older? It really is laughable (though I’m not laughing) that the people charged with population projections and planning consistently miss the mark or get blindsided.

Shocked

Wow. I had no idea that Towson High was so old and run down. Thanks for reporting it!

PHILIP

I think that the current TOWSON HIGH SCHOOL opened in 1948
which means it is almost 70 years old.

Just Kidding (sort of)
Just Kidding (sort of)

Shouldn’t the building be designated historic like the Presbyterian Home? Shouldn’t all buildings that have out-served their purpose be saved? Funny how some believe it’s good to tell other people how to lose money on their property but not when it directly affects them. Speaking solely to those West Towson folks who cry “ninny” when the wind changes direction.

AJ Squared Away

Wow! Passive-aggressive a little, Just Kidding? Two separate issues.

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